–By Elizabeth Ahlman
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well (Mark 6:53-56 ESV).
There is so much brokenness in our world. It seems that it just keeps piling and piling up. Every time I log into Facebook a new tragedy or sadness is being shared, either on a personal or a social level. The connectedness of the world as it is now brings the sadnesses of this life ever more to our attention. Mothers die in childbirth, friends are diagnosed with cancer, children drown when they should be having a fun summer, babies are torn to pieces, and the list goes on and on and on. We are all so broken. This world we live in is so very, very broken. Some days the brokenness is palpably, oppressively evident.
And it’s hard not to despair like the disciples did in the verses just before this. It’s hard not to see the waves crashing about and be terrified as we face them. Sometimes, the heavy burden that is knowledge of the atrocities, tragedies and every day sadnesses of this world causes us to sit down and weep. And there is a time for weeping, to be sure. It may be today for me, tomorrow for you. The temptation is to remain in that place of weeping. To curve ourselves in on ourselves, head down, eyes shut, our own wailing blocking up our ears, and to forget.
It is easy to forget that Jesus Himself stands upon the waves and climbs into the boat. It is easy to forget that Jesus Himself is among us. It is easy to forget that Jesus crosses to us as He does to the many sick and dying in Gennesaret. Even the fringe of His garment is enough to heal the whole world. Yet He did not give just the fringe of His garment for the healing of the world: He gave all of Himself. He gave His body to be broken and His blood to be spilled. He gave His very life for ours.
We run to Him each and every week as He comes among us in Word and Sacrament. We do not merely touch not just the fringe of His garment, but eat His body and blood given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins unto life everlasting, and we are healed. In the midst of the brokenness of this world Jesus brings us His wholeness and peace. He brings us the strength to endure and the hope of the day when all of the brokenness this world has to offer will finally fade away forever. He reminds us that in His death and resurrection, He has already conquered the brokenness of this world and all that is in it. It will be restored, it will be redeemed, it will be made new just as we have already been restored, redeemed and made new in our Baptisms. When it is time to weep, He weeps with us and He lifts up our eyes to Himself so that we may know that we are not alone, and that He has made the broken whole.
Let us Pray: Lord God, Heavenly Father, You call us as Your dear children to come to You in prayer and supplication, help us as we weep for the brokenness of this world to ever turn to You for comfort and hope, remind us of Your Son’s victory, and keep us in the one true faith so that we may be witnesses of Your love and salvation to a world in need of You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.